Saturday, March 01, 2008

 

The Virtual Fence Is A Ruse

Build a real one

Mickey Kaus exerpts this quote from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from earlier in the week:
"I have personally witnessed the value of this system, and I have spoken directly to the border patrol agents...who have seen it produce actual results, in terms of identifying and allowing the apprehension of people who were illegally smuggling across the border," Chertoff said.
Later, we learn:
The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

Though the department took over that initial stretch Friday from Boeing, authorities confirmed that Project 28, the initial deployment of the Secure Border Initiative network, did not work as planned or meet the needs of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The announcement marked a major setback for what President Bush in May 2006 called "the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history." The virtual fence was to be a key component of his proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration policies, which died last year in the Senate.
Tammy Bruce notes:
In other words, we've all just been taken for a ride, and for something we didn't even accept as adequate in the first place. In order to do whatever possible to avoid building an actual physical fence and to get the amnesty bill passed, Bush, McCain and their amnesty cronies made sure a monumental amount of money was wasted on a fake, untested, unreal fence to placate conservatives who simply want to keep this nation safe from predators.
Via Mark Kirkorian who comments:
If there's a setback here, it's to the amnesty crowd — the work involved in constructing a real immigration-enforcement infrastructure (at the border as well as in the interior) points to the unworkability of the McCain-Kennedy "comprehensive" approach of granting amnesty now in return for promises of enforcement in the future. Even McCain's claim that he now supports a year or two of enforcement before proceeding to amnesty is clearly unworkable; it will take at least an entire term — at least — not only to implement the technological elements of better enforcement, but also to staff up in the proper areas and to overcome the furious legal assault that the ACLU and its cronies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will wage to stymie enforcement.
I hope he's right about this being a setback for the amnesty crowd.

We need an actual fence across our entire southern border, a formidable physical barrier that stops the unregulated flow of people across it. Our political elites simply cannot be trusted on border security and an actual fence mostly takes matters out of their hands.

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